Indian Education

Utah State Board of Education

TRAVIS PARASHONTS

Travis (Pah-doie which means Elk) is passionate about the Paiute language being taught by the tribe.  His grandmother spoke Paiute and his mother spoke English to him. He thinks schools needs more attention in education on culture, especially Indian culture, not just pioneers.

He is a family man with children ages 25, 16, and 13 and teaches his children to be proud of who they are, not to be ashamed of the color of their skin.  He also believes that children should learn to stand up for others.  He stresses that this is their land. “There are spirits all over this land.”

His message to Indian families is to “encourage Indian children to step up to the plate.  Learn that culture and traditions are important and it takes a strong-spirited person to know this.  But parents need to take the first step in seeking to learn.  More parents should be involved and show interest in children and academics will increase.  Parents should not use having to work as an excuse for letting children slip through or from school.”

While Travis has a strong message to parents and children, he follows his own words by being involved with his children.  His wife follows daily progress more than he does but he is on hand to attend meetings in school if there is a need.

Travis has always been in leadership in some form.  He has been on the tribal council for 18 years, three years as chair and was instrumental in restoration of the Paiute tribe to federal status.  (See Sovereignty in lesson plans)  He was also the Executive Director of Indian Affairs for the state of Utah after Bruce Parry.  He has worked as a social work investigator and CEO of Suh'dutsing Cedar Technologies, LLD which is tribally owned.  He has big moccasins to wear and follow in, but a great example for all people.